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NFF Mourns Passing of Sebastian Brodricks-Imasuen, Africa’s First FIFA World Cup-Winning Coach 

The 85-year tactician was undergoing treatment for stroke and diabetes at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

Greenlock’s EVC/Visioneer, Olufunsho Peters (left) presenting the club’s jersey to the NFF President

The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed deep shock at news on Wednesday morning of the death of the first man to lead an African team to win a FIFA World Cup, Coach Sebastian Brodricks-Imasuen, at a hospital in Benin City, Edo State.

The 85-year tactician, according to his family, was undergoing treatment for stroke and diabetes but gave up the ghost at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday, 3rd January 2024.

“The NFF and the entire Nigeria Football fraternity are sorely pained by the demise of Coach Sebastian Brodricks-Imasuen. He worked very hard at his craft and was tireless in his efforts to bring honour to the homeland through the various National Teams he worked with. No one can ever forget how he led an unsung group of boys to China to win a first-ever FIFA World Cup for Nigeria and Africa,” NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said on Wednesday.

Brodricks-Imasuen was Head Coach of the Nigeria U16 squad that won the inaugural FIFA Cadet World Cup in China in 1985, defeating West Germany 2-0 in the final at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing. Two years later in Canada, he led the team to runner-up position after a penalty shootout defeat to the former Soviet Union, and two years later, in Scotland, his team lost to eventual winners Saudi Arabia on penalties in the quarter-finals. Two years later, FIFA upgraded the competition to an U17 tournament.

The soft-spoken, easy-going tactician also assisted Dutchman Clemens Westerhof as Nigeria finished as runners-up at the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Algeria.

Nicknamed Sabara, Brodricks-Imasuen featured for Bendel Insurance in his playing days, famously scoring the winning goal when Insurance edged feisty Mighty Jets in a replayed 1972 Challenge Cup Final in Ibadan, after both teams were deadlocked at 2-2 in the first match at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos, thanks to the heroics of late Sam Garba Okoye.

Apart from his successes at international level, Sabara also coached El-Kanemi Warriors, Udoji United FC and Bendel Insurance.

Green Lock FC pledges to key into NFF’s grassroots football development vision

An Abuja-based club, Green Lock FC has pledged its total support for the grassroots football development programmes of the present NFF administration led by Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau. The Management of the club made this pledge on Wednesday during a courtesy call on the NFF President in his office.

In his response, Gusau said the doors of the Federation will always be open to all individuals who are competent in their areas of jurisdiction to administer football in the right way, with particular emphasis on grassroots development, which is his administration’s cardinal pillar in ensuring that Nigeria Football attains much-desired heights in no distant future.

“You are just starting, and I don’t want you to be deterred by anything because it has to be a gradual process. There are always challenges along the way when you start a new project, but do not lose sight of your objective and vision. Allow your vision to guide you and help you overcome all hurdles and obstacles on the way to attaining your goals.”

The Executive Vice Chairman of Green Lock FC, Mr Olufunsho Peters said he is impressed with what the Federation has achieved under the present Gusau’s administration, and believes it is important to identify and key into this project for the growth of the club.

“We are here to identify with you, to key into your vision of grassroots football development. We are enamoured by what you have been doing and the way you have been going about setting Nigeria Football in a fresh and positive direction.”

Chief Coordinating Executive of Green Lock FC, Mr Olayinka Oladunjoye also thumbed up the Gusau administration and admitted that identifying with the Federation is the best way forward for the club to progress. “We are not just here to show our faces to you, but we truly want to identify with you and your vision for Nigeria Football, and we want to be part of your dream to change the narrative of football in the country.”

Also present during the visit were NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi; NFF Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire and special assistant to NFF President, Abubakar Barde.

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